Can we talk about this scene a bit?
For those not in the know, this happens at the start of Riven:The Sequel to Myst, immediately after you arrive in the world you’ve been sent to.
Now, I had already read the books that prequelled these games before playing Riven, so I knew the backstory here. And let me tell you, it comes across brilliantly! What always gets me is Cho (the fandom’s nick-name for the guy in this video) struggling to get through the few words of D’ni that Gehn (the villain) has obviously had him rehearse for just such an occasion (“Tahg-eh mah… soo… reh ko-ah!” which is D’ni-Spoken-With-a-Rivenese-Accent for, literally, “Give me you the book”). Of course Gehn assumed it would be Atrus who would come back to Riven, and not some human who doesn’t know a word of D’ni. Setting up a cage on the exact spot where a person would materialize upon linking into the Age and then posting a guard to watch that cage just in case is such a Gehn move, too.
For those playing the game for the game’s sake, without having delved into the rich lore of the series beforehand, this scene still gives you everything you need to get you started (“so there are two groups on this island who are after my book, and one of them seems a bit nicer than the other…”). All in all, I think this scene (and the rest of the game for that matter) is a fantastic example of Show, Don’t Tell, as even for casual players the sinister facts of what’s been going on in this world will become ever clearer as they explore and observe.
D’OHHH, I just love Riven so much! >v<
It’s also great to see how, once Cho gives up on the D’ni, having apparently figured out that you have no idea what he’s saying anyway, he starts using body language to get his message across: The open hands to show he’s not a threat, it appears he’s basically saying, “Relax, it’s okay, I’m just gonna take this book, okay? Relax.” I love little things like that.